By Rosa Segura, Catholic Volunteer Network Recruiter
The past few months have gone by so fast! It seems like just yesterday that I walked into the CVN office, excited about the bagels at our welcome party, worried about how sweaty I was after walking to the office. It has been such a rewarding experience to be a part of the CVN team as a recruiter. I have loved every minute of it. I am sad to be leaving, but am thrilled to embark on a new adventure.
Along the road, I’ve received a number of questions about post-graduate service. I’d like to impart some of my knowledge and answer some of the most common questions. I would also like to take a moment to emphasize a point: service is for everybody. We focus our recruiting efforts largely on universities, but that doesn’t mean we’re only looking for students. Our programs have a variety of needs that can be met by a variety of people. Married couples, single parents with children, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities. All are welcome to serve for a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years. So without further ado, here are the top five questions I’ve been asked as a CVN recruiter.
1. How much does it cost?
We have 198 different programs and they each raise funds differently. Many will ask volunteers to fundraise a certain amount of money to help offset the cost of running a volunteer program. (And many programs will let you fundraise while you are doing your year of service!) I have not heard of a program that has turned away an applicant for lack of financial resources, so don’t let that hold you back!
2. Where can I volunteer?
Our programs operate all over the United States and all over the world. There are placements in 47 of the United States and in 114 countries abroad. We’ve got options on every continent except Antarctica. (But there’s not really a population that needs to be served there…)
3. Where did you do your year of service?
I served at Amigos de Jesus Home for Children in rural Honduras. It was one of the most challenging and amazing years of my life.
4. How do I apply to a program?
The application process varies from program to program. It can be similar to applying for a job or graduate school. It usually involves a written application, letters of recommendation, a background check, and a series of interviews.
5. Can I still volunteer if I have student loans?
Absolutely! Our programs often have an option for loan deferment, but even if they don’t, you can sign up for an income-based payment plan. (You’ll be making $0 so you’ll pay $0!)
What other questions do you have about full-time service? Type them in the comments below and we will be sure to answer them.
Would you like to hear Rosa speak more about service opportunities? Tune in to her recent webinar “What you should know about international service.”